When you’ve got a dream that you want to accomplish, it’s exciting. You want to share your dream with anyone who will listen, especially your closest family and friends. Of course, you expect the people you care about the most to be behind you 100%. But, what if they’re not?
If your dream is realistic and attainable, it can be frustrating when the people in your life don’t support you. It can even affect your mental and physical health. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown a network of social support can promote lifelong good mental health, enhance your self-esteem, lower blood pressure, and improve your ability to cope with stressful situations.
Plus, not having a support system can discourage you from making your dreams a reality. So, what can you do?
Here’s how to get people to support your dream.
Keep it simple
Whether your dream is to buy a house by the ocean or to start a website as big as Amazon, it’s important to keep it simple when expressing your goals to family and friends. Not everyone is capable of dreaming as big as you or has the ability to understand how you’ll be able to make your dreams happen.
Keeping it simple is especially important if your dream involves creating something new since not everyone will “get it”. For instance, if you want to create software that “automates the email marketing process so that businesses can reduce shopping cart abandonment”, don’t say that to non-supporters. Tell them something they can understand better, such as “an email marketing service for online stores”.
If you can find a way to communicate your dreams in a simple way to the people that don’t support you, they may be able to better understand your goals.
Let them know how you feel
Don’t just tell your friends and family what you want to do, tell them why you want to do it. Sometimes a good heart-to-heart talk with your loved ones is all they need to truly understand your dreams.
So, get together with your closest loved ones and tell them that your dream is very important to you and lay out the reasons why it’s important to you. For example, say you want to open a board game cafe. It might seem odd to your friends and family at first, but if you tell them that you want to open a board game cafe because you want to share your love of board games with your community and provide a space for families to enjoy time with each other, it may open their eyes a bit.
When your friends and family understand that your dream holds a lot of meaning to you and it isn’t just a fleeting thought, they’ll be more likely to support you going forward.
Tell them what you need
It’s also important to let people know what you actually need from them regarding support. For instance, your partner or your parents could be helping you to support your dreams financially, but not emotionally. While you may appreciate the financial support (very much!), what you really need is for your loved ones to be encouraging and to listen to you.
So, take a moment and identify what type of support you need from your friends and family. Do you need:
- Emotional Support – Encouragement, empathy, affection, acceptance.
- Information Support – Suggestions, ideas, guidance, advice.
- Companionship Support – Their physical presence, attending social events with you.
- Tangible Support – Financial assistance, material goods, or services.
Determine what type of support you need and let your loved ones know. Communication is key. If people know exactly what you need from them, they’ll be able to give it to you.
Keep them in the loop
Throughout the process of working on accomplishing your dream, remember to keep people in the loop. If your friends and family are in the dark and they never know what’s going on, it can cause them to be concerned and less supportive. So, make sure you’re keeping people up-to-date with your plans and progress.
A casual update, such as a quick phone call, is enough to ease the minds of most people. But, if you want them to really take you seriously, you can take a more professional route.
For instance, let’s go back to the example of starting a successful website. As you’re building your website, you can use a “coming soon page”, create an email list, and encourage your family and friends to sign up for it. That way they’ll get regular updates about what you’re working on, what your website will offer, and when they can expect it to go live. Keeping them in the loop regarding your process will show them that your dreams are becoming a reality.
Just go for it
Sometimes, no matter what you do, your friends and family just won’t get it. Which is why you need to move forward and just go for it. It can be difficult to deal with not having support from the people that mean the most to you, but luckily, there are other ways to find the support you need.
For instance, you can try to create your own support system by attending relevant local events, conferences, or workshops. You could even go online to search for forums or Facebook groups filled with like-minded people that you can join. Both of these options will allow you to chat with others that understand what you’re going through, ask for advice, bounce ideas off each other, and receive support. Don’t wait around for unsupportive people, build your own community.
Don’t give up on your dreams
It can be a long road to reach your dreams, which is why it’s so helpful to have the support from people in your life. As long as you’re open, honest, realistic, and practice good communication, you should be able to turn the naysayers into your biggest fans. If not, keep working towards your goals, and your friends and family can celebrate with you when you accomplish them. Remember, you have the power to accomplish your goals, whether anyone believes in you or not.